Life as WWE champion is not going to be easy for Randy Orton. After beating Drew McIntyre to win the title at Hell in a Cell, Orton immediately found himself in the crosshairs of not only McIntyre but also "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt and Money in the Bank contract holder The Miz.
For the second week in a row, Orton had to contend with the threat of all those men, surviving an attack from McIntyre and a near cash-in from Miz, but having his triumphant show-closing moment cut short by the laughter of The Fiend. With Survivor Series on the horizon, Orton is going to have to put in some hard work just to hold on to his title for the champion vs. champion match against Roman Reigns at the pay-per-view.
CBS Sports was with you all night, bringing you highlights and recaps of all the action. Read on for everything you need to know after this week's edition of Raw.
Orton, McIntyre are far from done
Orton opened the show with an in-ring promo, stating the various reasons why he is "the best." Orton said he proved his greatness by beating Drew McIntyre at Hell in a Cell and that he is no longer a legend killer, he is simply a legend. After daring anyone in the locker room to try and take his title, Orton was cut off by Alexa Bliss' music. She entered the ring and held up gloves reading "play" and "pain," before dropping the "play" hand and saying, "He could be here." Instead of The Fiend, however, it was Drew McIntyre who snuck into the ring to hit a Claymore before daring Orton to give him a rematch. The Miz then ran to the ring with the Money in the Bank contract, calling out a referee. Before Miz could cash in, McIntyre ran back to the ring and took out Miz and John Morrison, telling them that he is the only man who will take the WWE championship from Orton.
Drew McIntyre def. The Miz & John Morrison via pinfall after a Claymore on Miz. The match came about after Miz and Morrison made the challenge for a handicap match after McIntyre's earlier attack. While Miz and Morrison dominated much of the match, though McIntyre busted out many of his standard tricks, such as kicking out at one after big moves. McIntyre made his big comeback and exploded on Miz, throwing him around the ring with belly-to-belly suplexes. Miz eventually managed to hit the Skull-Crushing Finale, but McIntyre kicked out at two. Shortly after, McIntyre hit a Claymore to score the win. As McIntyre was celebrating his victory, Orton ran into the ring and hit an RKO, but The Fiend's laugh echoed through the arena as the show went off the air.
The mix of four different men in the title picture has been a very refreshing change for WWE programming. A good one-on-one storyline is a staple for a reason, but having a mix of guys brings back some old school Attitude Era vibes. Orton is not going to have a dominant run as champion with so many people gunning for him, and every person in the story is drastically different. It doesn't take a lot of fancy work to tell an effective story. Grade: B+
Braun Strowman joins Team Raw
During an in-ring promo, AJ Styles declared himself the captain of Team Raw before calling out the other two official members of his team. Keith Lee and Sheamus came to the ring and both said they did not agree to have Styles as their captain. Strowman entered the picture and declared himself on the team and said he should be captain. Adam Pearce entered and said he hadn't been able to find anyone to be Strowman's qualifying opponent. Sheamus and Lee both offered to fight Strowman, leading Styles to suggest a triple threat, with Strowman qualifying for the team if he won.
Braun Strowman def. Keith Lee and Sheamus via pinfall after a running powerslam on Sheamus. As Lee was setting up for a Spirit Bomb on Strowman, Sheamus ran in and hit a Brogue Kick. That allowed Strowman to catch Sheamus with the running powerslam for the win, qualifying him for the Survivor Series team. After the match, Styles encouraged the team to shake hands and work together, leading Strowman to tell Lee they need to put their differences aside because he wants to win at the pay-per-view. Strowman and Lee shook hands and Sheamus and Strowman hugged after briefly arguing, but Sheamus turned and hit a Brogue Kick, knocking Strowman from the ring. Lee then clotheslined Sheamus to the floor and Styles dropkicked Lee out of the ring next before complaining that the team couldn't get along. Later in the show, Sheamus approached McIntyre and pitched them joining up again -- starting with McIntyre on Team Raw, but McIntyre politely refused the offer.
While triple threat matches are a bit tired, having three big men go all out in a brawl was a good decision. Lee, Strowman and Sheamus all performed extremely well in the match, even if the finish was obvious. And Styles as the "little man" on the team also trying to be the leader plays up the best aspects of his character. It's also nice to see a Survivor Series build that hasn't leaned on invasion angles, but instead plays into inter-team conflict. Grade: A-
More WWE Raw results
- Bray Wyatt and Alexa Bliss hosted a Firefly Fun House segment. The two focused on Orton with Wyatt saying The Fiend couldn't forget what happened when Orton burned down the Wyatt Compound in 2017. Bliss then did a "magic trick" where she appeared to spit blood. Bliss was also confronted backstage by Nikki Cross later in the show. Cross was scared off when Bliss looked up at her with glowing eyes.
- Jeff Hardy def. Elias in a guitar on a pole match. Elias took a shot to the nose that drew a little blood early in the match and responded by tossing a stool to knock Hardy off the top rope as he climbed the ropes to retrieve the guitar. That only delayed the inevitable as Hardy eventually grabbed the guitar and jumped from the top rope to smash it on Elias' back and score the pinfall victory.
- Women's Tag Team Championship -- Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (c) def. Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke via submission to retain the titles when Baszler locked Brooke in the Kirifuda Clutch. Lana came to ringside to watch the other members of Team Raw in the match, drawing the ire of Jax and Baszler immediately. Lana would distract Baszler multiple times, including as she tried to lock Brooke in the Kirifuda Clutch the first time. That allowed Brooke to score a roll-up for a near fall. After Baszler kicked out, she locked in the hold for the finish. | Nia Jax def Lana via pinfall after a Samoan drop. Jax dominated the match, brutalizing Lana from the opening bell and never letting up. Jax finally ended the match with a Samoan drop. After the match, Jax returned to the ring, calling Lana pathetic before the weekly Samoan drop through the announce table.
- Bobby Lashley def. R-Truth via submission with the Hurt Lock in a non-title match. Truth told Lashley that they're both champions and there's no need for either man to get hurt. Truth then laid down and waited to be pinned, but Lashley wasn't having it, scoring a near-immediate win with the Hurt Lock. | 24/7 Championship -- Drew Gulak def. R-Truth (c) to win the title. Gulak tried to run in after the match and pin Truth for the 24/7 title, but Lashley slammed him and locked in the Hurt Lock. Lashley then threw Gulak's unconscious body on top of Truth for the pin.
- The Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin) def. The New Day via pinfall (c) in a non-title match after Benjamin hit Paydirt on Xavier Woods. The lengthy match began after New Day interrupted a VIP Lounge segment by The Hurt Business. The two teams went back-and-forth until a wild sprint finish that saw Benjamin hit Paydirt to allow Alexander to score the pinfall.
- Ricochet def. Tucker Knight via pinfall after hitting Recoil. Ricochet won very quickly, but Mustafa Ali had come to ringside before the match. Retribution jumped into the ring after the match, with T-Bar throwing Ricochet from the ring before attacking Knight. Ricochet was then thrown back in the ring, where Retribution circled him. Ricochet fought back, but the numbers game caught up and Ali told him, "No sin is forgiven, until it is punished."